From Robert Ulph on January 11, 2021
With an increasing number of people spending more time at home under the ongoing restrictions, along with Christmas time when pets are often given as presents, the focus is once again on pets in rental property.
Tenants feel that too few properties are advertised as taking pets, in fact the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government claims that currently just 7% of rental properties advertise that they will accept pets.
At Pennington, we take a view that the subject of allowing pets or not, is a decision for the individual landlord, so we rarely advertise a property as accepting pets or not. We know that not all properties are suitable for pets, we also know that the reference ‘pets’ covers a much wider range of animals than it used to, so individual requests have to be addressed as they come up.
Allowing appropriate pets in suitable homes can be a positive move. In general, we find there are significant benefits to those landlords who provide pet-friendly homes. It can maximise rental potential and we find that pet-friendly properties are snapped up quickly and are never vacant for long. We also find that pet owners are often more likely to stay longer in a property than tenants without pets.
There can, unfortunately, be issues with irresponsible pet owners, but most people regard their rented property as their home and do not want to live in a home that is being damaged or is unsanitary. A blanket objection on ownership of appropriate pets in suitable homes would therefore seem unfair for the sensible majority.
But I can’t stress enough that deciding whether or not to accept pets in your rental property must be an individual choice as it can feel like a big decision, particularly if you have little experience of pets yourself, but it is something that should be carefully considered.
Once you have made the decision to look at accepting pets in your property, there are a few simple steps that we can advise on to ensure that the tenancy runs as smoothly as possible. Incorporating clauses on potential damage or extra cleaning are key from the outset and removes any uncertainty or dispute later on.
Regular inspections of the property are also essential and ARLA Propertymark agents should be carrying these out as part of their terms of business and at least every six months. These inspections reveal how your property is being looked after and will highlight any work that may need addressing sooner rather than later. In addition, a good agent will always send you the inspection report with photos, as well as be able to arrange for any work to be carried out.
If you need any advice on renting out your property or as a tenant with pets let me know, or if you would like to discuss any other matters on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.